With a little bit of time and a little over $100 in materials, we were able to completely transform the look and feel of our master bathroom. Goodbye builder-grade! Hello beautiful Italian spa (okay, that might be a stretch, but that’s what I’m telling myself it looks like).
And the best second best part? We have enough paint and primer leftover to finish TWO more bathrooms. I’m trying out new stencils in each of those and I can’t wait to get them done. If you’re curious about which stencil patterns we’re going to use or maybe you want to download the files to use yourself, you can download them at the bottom of this post!
I know what you’re thinking, “this all sounds great, but c’mon, do they actually hold up??” We have a one year review that gives you all the details! Oh, and we recently updated that review to include our 2-year update!
This project isn’t just for floors. Any tile works: backsplashes, fireplaces, shower walls, laundry room, etc!
Alright, let’s start DIYing!
This post contains affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, I earn a small commission, but it won’t cost you a penny more)!
- Paint rollers
- One large for covering the whole area quickly
- One smaller for edges and tight places
- One for edges and tight places
- One or two small brushes for touch-ups (I used old crafting paintbrushes that come in a variety pack at Michael’s)
What You’ll Need
- Painter’s tape
- Tarps (optional to cover toilets, carpet, cabinets, etc.)
- Primer – Behr Premium Concrete and Masonry Bonding Primer
- Paint for the base – Behr Premium Low-Lustre Enamel Porch & Patio Floor Paint in Ultra Pure White (standard color)
- Paint for the stencil – Behr Premium Low-Lustre Enamel Porch & Patio Floor Paint in Space Black (color mixed at Home Depot)
- Sealer – Varathane Water-Based Ultimate Polyurethane
- Stencil(s) – I made my own from these stencil sheets. You can also find options on Amazon–this one is pretty similar to ours!
How to paint tile floors
Step 1: Select your stencil
The more stencils you have available, the quicker your project will go. It’ll also make it easier to work on those tiles that are oddly shaped around the edges of your room.
If you want to make your own, but don’t want to create the pattern–great news! I have three different patterns available for you to download.
Step 2: Clean your tile.
Make sure to take this step seriously. You don’t want to end up with hair or dust on your floor forever. I would recommend vacuuming your floor with a nozzle attachment and then scrubbing it with Simple Green. Make sure to get it nice and clean, especially the grout!
step 3: Prep.
Prep your baseboards and anything non-removable (shower, tub, cabinets, toilet. You can also use tarps to cover things that like your cabinets and toilet to make sure you don’t accidentally get paint drips on them. If you have a lot of doors, you can remove them to keep them out of your way.
Sweep one more time. Better safe than sorry, right?
Note: if you are working with glossy tile, we’d recommend sanding first. You can also use this primer that has a great track record of adhering to glossy surfaces (tile included).
Step 4: Prime your tile.
Prime your floor using a concrete and masonry bonding primer. You can apply it however you find it easiest. I used a small roller to get all the edges and then a large roller to apply the rest quickly. Your primer might look somewhat bubbly when you first apply it, but that’s okay.
Step 5:Paint your base coat.
Paint your base coat using a porch and patio paint. You want to use a porch and patio paint because it’s very durable and mildew resistant. Follow the instructions on your paint can to determine how many coats you will need and how much time to wait between coats.
I first painted all of the grout lines using a brush and then used rollers for the base coat to cover the floor quickly.
Step 6: Stencil
It’s time to break out the stencil! Tape your stencil down to ensure it does not move. Go over the stencil several times with light coats of paint. I used a paint roller, but you can apply it however works best for you. If you keep your coats light, you should have less stencil bleeding.
Work your way around the room. Knock out all of the whole tiles first, then move on to the partial tiles.
Be strategic about where you start. Start in the back corner and work yourself out of the room. You don’t want to get halfway done and realized you are trapped!
I also opted to cut 20 stencils so that I would have plenty to cut, but if you’re working with just 1 or 2 stencils, you’ll have to get creative when doing the partial tiles.
Find all of the titles that use the stencil in the same direction then start with the largest. You can fold your stencil–you just have to be careful to keep it in the same place.
Step 7: Touch-up
When you peel off the stencils, don’t be discouraged. It’s normal for the lines to not be perfect. That’s why the next step is to touch-up the paint with a small paint brush.
This is the most time-consuming step, but it is so worth it. Look at the difference between one of my tiles before and after I touched it up!
Step 8: Seal the tiles
Seal the tiles with a paint roller using polyurethane. I would recommend a matte finish if you’re going for the cement tile look. We ended up accidentally picking up a satin finish. It’s easier to clean, but you can see your paint strokes more than you would with a matte finish.
This step is very important in the longevity of your tiles. Be sure to follow the instructions on the polyurethane can to a T. If it says 4 coats, that’s what you’ve gotta do!
Step 9: Remove the tape.
This is the best part. Your floor finally looks complete! I recommend using a utility knife to make sure that you don’t accidentally peel up your tile paint, but you can also carefully remove it by hand.
Enjoy, but be careful for the first few weeks and follow directions on your sealer. Usually, you won’t be able to clean using chemicals for the first 30 days.
You did it! Wasn’t that the most rewarding project?? You should be so proud of yourself for taking your home into your hands and making it something unique and beautiful! We’d love to celebrate with you! Send us your pictures or tag us on Instagram (@craftedbythehunts).